The name Hamathite in the Bible
The Hamathite is (are) descendant of Canaan, son of Ham (Genesis 10:18) and one would expect that the name of the Hamathite derives of Ham but the experts say no. All sources point at the city חמת (Hamath), which must have been somewhere in Syria, close to the northern frontier of Israel (1 Kings 8:65, Isaiah 11:11, Ezekiel 47:16).
Etymology of the name Hamathite
Scholars agree that the name Hamath comes from the unused root verb חמה, probably meaning to surround or protect:
A Hebrew audience, however, might have noticed the similarity between the name Hamath and the word חמת (hemet) meaning waterskin:
NOBSE Study Bible Name List interprets the name Hamathite as People Of Hamath, and reads Fortification for Hamath. BDB Theological Dictionary agrees and derives the name via חומה (homa), wall, to Fortress. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names derives the name Hamath from the same root, and renders it the meaning Defence, Citadel.